Green List: Sumptuous and sustainable

Jacqui Griffiths looks at how sustainability is being put at the heart of interior design
Green List: Sumptuous and sustainable

By Jacqui Griffiths |

A spectrum of sustainability
Sustainable design is a multi-layered principle for leading designers. “Our designs for the expedition ships being constructed in China are built around the concept of connecting people with the natural environment,” says Tomas Tillberg, managing partner of Tomas Tillberg Design International. “Large windows in both cabins and public areas help accomplish this goal. Even the artwork, with its many high-quality photographs of wildlife, contributes to it. Renewable sources of materials are constantly being reviewed for use in the designs and are incorporated whenever possible.”

Ralf Claussen, founder and partner at cm-design, says that even the smallest design input can help to change behaviour and promote the development of sustainable and recyclable materials. “Examples include using PVC-free vinyl-floorings; recycled products from the plastics found in the sea, such as wall tiles, furniture and fabrics; using natural materials instead of artificial products; sourcing materials locally to the yard to minimise transportation cost and pollution; and regularly checking production sites and quality,” he says.

Sustainable superyacht concepts such as Aegir illustrate Tillberg Design of Sweden’s ability to help clients achieve a neutral or positive environmental footprint. The company is carbon neutral and prides itself on its own sustainable practices, as well as its knowledge of sustainable materials and ideas on how to construct smarter ships and develop green solutions.

Furniture and decor
Recycled and upcycled plastic increasingly take centre stage in sustainable ship interiors. Christina Conde, senior designer at CallisonRTKL, highlights Vondom’s new ‘Ibiza’ furniture collection as a prime example. “The line includes sculptural chairs, a table and a chaise longue made from all types of plastic found floating in the Mediterranean Sea,” Conde says. “Informal, yet elegant, I envision these upcycled pieces being placed poolside or being used as seating for a casual indoor/outdoor restaurant setting. It’s inspiring to see a manufacturer respond to the environmental impact of ocean debris by recycling plastic into beautifully designed furniture.”

Volume Creative collected shore and domestic plastic, chipped it, and experimented using an aggregate of sustainable material Jesmonite to create its ‘Spared’ artwork – a ship’s model plinth that is featured in the central public space onboard Virgin Voyages’ new Scarlet Lady. As well as sending a strong message about ocean plastics, the artwork exemplifies Volume Creative’s commitment to produce work that lasts a lifetime, whether it’s an interior, product or art.

Established in 2019, CITA Design builds on CITA Marine Furniture & Architecture’s 24 years of experience in the maritime sector. CITA Marine Furniture & Architecture supplies materials for all crew areas and some deluxe cabins of Havila Kystruten’s new coastal vessels. CITA Design contributes to the concept design of ultra-luxury cabins like owners’ suites by using recyclable, environmentally friendly, lightweight products.

Natural soft surfaces
Hardwearing natural fibres provide an age-old sustainability solution. Gudbrandsdalens Uldvarefabrik (GU) is a family-run woollen mill with decades of experience as a marine certified supplier. Renowned for exceptional quality, unique modern design and eco-friendly production practices, the company harnesses the natural beneficial qualities of wool to produce original textiles with interesting structures, colours, patterns and technical characteristics. GU is constantly innovating and adapting the latest technology to work with wool, to offer fabrics that are inherently flame retardant, easy to care for, durable, and look luxurious for many years without wrinkling, creasing or compressing.

Clean and green
Manufacturing processes and energy usage are as essential as the finished product to sustainable ship interiors. “We are constantly searching the market for new sustainable products and materials, lowering our carbon footprint and that of our clients,” says Simon Dawkins, commercial manager at marine interior outfitting firm Trimline. “By also adopting lean manufacturing practices, we ensure any waste is kept to a minimum.”

Danish Decoration has a keen focus on improving the dry dock environment. “Dry dock projects accumulate lots of garbage that used to go into one pile,” says Tina Kjeldgaard, owner of Danish Decoration. “Now we sort electrical, hazardous, stone, concrete, metal and wet garbage into separate containers which we have onboard the ship during the entire dry dock. For instance, all grout water and paint go into designated closed containers and are not flushed into any system.”

Pronomar is helping polar expedition operators to reduce the energy used for cleaning and drying for passengers’ muck boots and waterproof clothing. With Pronomar boot cleaning stations, dirty muck boots can be washed using brushes with water spray nozzles. Afterwards, all clothing can be placed on Pronomar drying systems for fast internal drying. This contributes to a healthier and more comfortable experience for guests and crew while limiting unnecessary energy consumption and reducing carbon emissions in comparison to traditional drying rooms.

Environmentally friendly flooring
Gerflor’s commitment to circular economy sees it investing in eco-design for all products and processes, with a focus on reducing energy and water consumption. Its 100% recyclable Streamo floors and Karavel NG Luxury Vinyl Tile ranges have low volatile organic compound emissions, supporting indoor air quality. In addition, Gerflor’s Evercare surface treatment enables reduced use of water, energy and cleaning agents. The company works closely with architects, designers and influencers to develop new ranges where design meets performance.

Glass that is greener
Versatile, lightweight safety glass holds great potential for sustainable interior design. Brombach + Gess has developed Pyramare FR3, a glued, fire-resistant glazing system based on the principle of direct glazing. The glass, which is available with solar control coatings, has no need for additional steel frames. As well as making it lighter and more weatherproof than a bolted solution, this enables elegant designs that blend seamlessly into the ship’s glass design.

Lighting the way
LED technology has become a go-to solution for sustainable interiors because it lasts longer and consumes up to 80% less energy than conventional lighting.

For instance, TVV Marine Lighting’s unique long-life, easy-maintenance LED lighting solutions are enabling designers to create cost effective, good looking and energy-saving lighting effects.

Hera says that full use of its maintenance-free LED luminaires for their complete lifetime can almost eliminate maintenance cost, while its dimming and motion detection controls enable significant reductions in energy consumption. Production is part of the sustainability picture too, as the small size and high-output LEDs of Hera’s filigree luminaires means that less energy and raw materials are needed to produce them.

This article was first published in the Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

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